Scientific Proof that Americans are Completely Addicted to Trucks
By Adam Pearce Blacki Migliozzi and David Ingold | Jan. 15, 2015
Car geeks will be elbowing each other out of the way for a glimpse of Ford’s gorgeous new GT sports car when the Detroit auto show opens to the public this weekend. But when it comes to the new vehicles people actually buy, the story is all about light-trucks—the broad category that includes pickups, SUVs, crossovers, and minivans. As the economy gains strength and gas prices drop, Americans are turning away from cars and snapping up trucks of all sizes.
2014 new U.S. auto sales, by model

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Pickups are
king of the road.
Automakers sold more than 16.5 million new vehicles in the U.S. last year, up 5.9 percent from 2013. The most popular model, by a huge stretch, was the Ford F-Series pickup. In 2014, Americans bought 754,000 of them, making it the top-selling vehicle for the 33rd year in a row.
The F-Series trucks
alone beat Volkswagen’s
total U.S. sales.
And Lincoln’s. And Cadillac’s. And Mitsubishi’s. Combined.
The #2 and #3 top sellers
are also pickups.
Chevy’s Silverado came in distant second, followed by Fiat Chrysler’s Ram truck. The top three trucks combined for 1.7 million sales, or one in every ten new vehicles sold in 2014.
Big vehicles are booming
and cars aren't keeping up.
Sales of light trucks grew five times faster than cars last year, increasing 10 percent compared to 1.8 percent for cars.

Since the end of the recession, sales of cars and trucks had been neck and neck: Americans bought about 39,000 more trucks than cars in 2013. But in 2014, light trucks dramatically pulled away, outselling cars by 685,000 vehicles. Sales of midsize cars, which include the typical family sedan, actually shrank 0.5 percent.
Large SUVs are enjoying
a post-recession revival.
After slumping during the economic downturn, large SUVs—a category that includes American behemoths like the Chevy Suburban, Ford Expedition, and GMC Yukon—are again in demand. Sales were up 12.4 percent in 2014.
Luxury SUVs are getting
an even bigger bounce.
Sales for top-end models including the Cadillac Escalade, the Mercedes-Benz M Class, and the Lexus GX 460, together jumped 14.2 percent.
American sedans
can’t get any respect.
Americans still buy sedans in large but dwindling numbers: 3.6 million of them in 2014. For the 13th straight year, the Toyota Camry was the best-selling car in the U.S., followed by the Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, and Nissan Altima. An American automaker hasn't held the top spot since the Ford Taurus in 1996, and only three domestic cars were among the top 10 in 2014.
Crossovers have become the new family car.
Sales of crossovers—wannabe SUVs built on car platforms—reached 3.8 million last year, surpassing midsized sedans. Nearly one in four new vehicles purchased in the U.S. are now crossovers.
Car companies are pushing
crossovers like crazy.
They’ve introduced a slew of new models in recent years, including the Jeep Cherokee, Lincoln MKC, and Buick Encore, which are competing against the best-selling Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4.
Hybrid electrics are
losing their luster.
The Toyota Prius, once the hottest eco-friendly vehicle on the road, saw sales drop by 11.5 percent in 2014 across its models. Overall, purchases of hybrid electrics, which combine gas and electric engines, were down almost 9 percent.
But plug-in cars are
gaining acceptance.
Sales of plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars, led by the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, and Chevrolet Volt, increased 23 percent last year from 2013, according to hybridcars.com.
The luxury market
continues to grow.
Sales of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi all rose faster than the overall new-car market.
And cars for the super
rich are growing faster
than anything.
Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Ferrari, which make up less than 1 percent of all U.S. vehicle sales, grew a combined 25 percent in 2014. The scene-stealing Ford GT sports car, with an expected sticker price well into the six figures, will find itself in very good company.
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Pickups are king of the road.

Automakers sold more than 16.5 million new vehicles in the U.S. last year, up 5.9 percent from 2013. The most popular model, by a huge stretch, was the Ford F-Series pickup. In 2014, Americans bought 754,000 of them, making it the top-selling vehicle for the 33rd year in a row.

The F-Series trucks alone beat Volkswagen’s total U.S. sales.

And Lincoln’s. And Cadillac’s. And Mitsubishi’s. Combined.

The #2 and #3 top sellers are also pickups.

Chevy’s Silverado came in distant second, followed by Fiat Chrysler’s Ram truck. The top three trucks combined for 1.7 million sales, or one in every ten new vehicles sold in 2014.

Big vehicles are booming and cars aren't keeping up.

Sales of light trucks grew five times faster than cars last year, increasing 10 percent compared to 1.8 percent for cars.

 

Since the end of the recession, sales of cars and trucks had been neck and neck: Americans bought about 39,000 more trucks than cars in 2013. But in 2014, light trucks dramatically pulled away, outselling cars by 685,000 vehicles. Sales of midsize cars, which include the typical family sedan, actually shrank 0.5 percent.

Large SUVs are enjoying a post-recession revival.

After slumping during the economic downturn, large SUVs—a category that includes American behemoths like the Chevy Suburban, Ford Expedition, and GMC Yukon—are again in demand. Sales were up 12.4 percent in 2014.

Luxury SUVs are getting an even bigger bounce.

Sales for top-end models including the Cadillac Escalade, the Mercedes-Benz M Class, and the Lexus GX 460, together jumped 14.2 percent.

American sedans can’t get any respect.

Americans still buy sedans in large but dwindling numbers: 3.6 million of them in 2014. For the 13th straight year, the Toyota Camry was the best-selling car in the U.S., followed by the Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, and Nissan Altima. An American automaker hasn't held the top spot since the Ford Taurus in 1996, and only three domestic cars were among the top 10 in 2014.

Crossovers have become the new family car.

Sales of crossovers—wannabe SUVs built on car platforms—reached 3.8 million last year, surpassing midsized sedans. Nearly one in four new vehicles purchased in the U.S. are now crossovers.

Car companies are pushing crossovers like crazy.

They’ve introduced a slew of new models in recent years, including the Jeep Cherokee, Lincoln MKC, and Buick Encore, which are competing against the best-selling Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4.

Hybrid electrics are losing their luster.

The Toyota Prius, once the hottest eco-friendly vehicle on the road, saw sales drop by 11.5 percent in 2014 across its models. Overall, purchases of hybrid electrics, which combine gas and electric engines, were down almost 9 percent.

But plug-in cars are gaining acceptance.

Sales of plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars, led by the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, and Chevrolet Volt, increased 23 percent last year from 2013, according to hybridcars.com.

The luxury market continues to grow.

Sales of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi all rose faster than the overall new-car market

.
And cars for the super rich are growing faster than anything.

Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Ferrari, which make up less than 1 percent of all U.S. vehicle sales, grew a combined 25 percent in 2014. The scene-stealing Ford GT sports car, with an expected sticker price well into the six figures, will find itself in very good company.

Pickups are king of the road.

Automakers sold more than 16.5 million new vehicles in the U.S. last year, up 5.9 percent from 2013. The most popular model, by a huge stretch, was the Ford F-Series pickup. In 2014, Americans bought 754,000 of them, making it the top-selling vehicle for the 33rd year in a row.

The F-Series trucks alone beat Volkswagen’s total U.S. sales.

And Lincoln’s. And Cadillac’s. And Mitsubishi’s. Combined.

The #2 and #3 top sellers are also pickups.

Chevy’s Silverado came in distant second, followed by Fiat Chrysler’s Ram truck. The top three trucks combined for 1.7 million sales, or one in every ten new vehicles sold in 2014.

Big vehicles are booming and cars aren't keeping up.

Sales of light trucks grew five times faster than cars last year, increasing 10 percent compared to 1.8 percent for cars.

 

Since the end of the recession, sales of cars and trucks had been neck and neck: Americans bought about 39,000 more trucks than cars in 2013. But in 2014, light trucks dramatically pulled away, outselling cars by 685,000 vehicles. Sales of midsize cars, which include the typical family sedan, actually shrank 0.5 percent.

Large SUVs are enjoying a post-recession revival.

After slumping during the economic downturn, large SUVs—a category that includes American behemoths like the Chevy Suburban, Ford Expedition, and GMC Yukon—are again in demand. Sales were up 12.4 percent in 2014.

Luxury SUVs are getting an even bigger bounce.

Sales for top-end models including the Cadillac Escalade, the Mercedes-Benz M Class, and the Lexus GX 460, together jumped 14.2 percent.

American sedans can’t get any respect.

Americans still buy sedans in large but dwindling numbers: 3.6 million of them in 2014. For the 13th straight year, the Toyota Camry was the best-selling car in the U.S., followed by the Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, and Nissan Altima. An American automaker hasn't held the top spot since the Ford Taurus in 1996, and only three domestic cars were among the top 10 in 2014.

Crossovers have become the new family car.

Sales of crossovers—wannabe SUVs built on car platforms—reached 3.8 million last year, surpassing midsized sedans. Nearly one in four new vehicles purchased in the U.S. are now crossovers.

Car companies are pushing crossovers like crazy.

They’ve introduced a slew of new models in recent years, including the Jeep Cherokee, Lincoln MKC, and Buick Encore, which are competing against the best-selling Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4.

Hybrid electrics are losing their luster.

The Toyota Prius, once the hottest eco-friendly vehicle on the road, saw sales drop by 11.5 percent in 2014 across its models. Overall, purchases of hybrid electrics, which combine gas and electric engines, were down almost 9 percent.

But plug-in cars are gaining acceptance.

Sales of plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars, led by the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, and Chevrolet Volt, increased 23 percent last year from 2013, according to hybridcars.com.

The luxury market continues to grow.

Sales of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi all rose faster than the overall new-car market

.
And cars for the super rich are growing faster than anything.

Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Ferrari, which make up less than 1 percent of all U.S. vehicles sales, grew a combined 25 percent in 2014. The scene-stealing Ford GT sports car, with an expected sticker price well into the six figures, will find itself in very good company.

2014 sales
YoY change